Cities of London & Westminster MP Nickie Aiken has welcomed the Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden’s announcement of £1.57 billion worth of support for the arts.
The package includes:
- £1.15 billion support pot for cultural organisations in England delivered through a mix of £270 million in loans and £880 million in grants.
- £100 million of targeted support for the national cultural institutions in England and the English Heritage Trust.
- £120 million capital investment to restart construction on cultural infrastructure and heritage construction projects in England that were paused due Coronavirus.
Additional funding has also been available to support the arts in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
As the MP for London’s world-renowned West End, as well as many of the city’s best museums, art galleries, Nickie had long been lobbying the government to provide additional support for the arts in the wake of Coronavirus.
During lockdown, she brought several cultural organisations together including the Royal Opera House, Royal Albert Hall and Society of London Theatre to develop a recovery plan specifically for the West End. You can read the plan in full here.
Responding to today’s announcement Nickie commented, “I am absolutely delighted that the Culture Secretary has announced a £1.5 billion support package for the arts sector. The arts play an important role in maintaining our nations wellbeing.
“What I’ve learnt over the last few months working with the cultural sector is that it is fundamentally linked to the hospitality sector across our Two Cities. Both sectors are dependent on each other.
“For example, for every pound spent at a West End theatre, a further £5 is spent in our local economy boosting the incomes of local restaurants, bars and hotels. Without these restaurants, bars and hotels, West End theatres would not have the same magnetic appeal they did before Coronavirus.
“If one failed, it’s highly likely both would, risking thousands of jobs in our Two Cities.
“The package that the Government has announced today will help safeguard jobs in both sectors going forward. With the security it provides, the arts sector can look to the future and be ready to play its part in our economy’s recovery with its iconic venues remaining a great source of pride, not just in the Two Cities, but across the whole of the UK.”